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spring cleaning

HOME/ Homemaking/ Natural Products

How I Cleaned My Favorite Vacuum

Sometimes I get an idea to write a post and think, “do people REALLY want to read about this?”  But then, I think about what motivates and inspires me when reading other blogs, and sometimes it is the most simple posts (like this one on cleaning baseboards from Simple Notebook) that get me movin’!

So today, I thought I’d share with you how I cleaned my favorite vacuum.
Over a year ago, I purchased an Electrolux ErgoRapido Bagless Cordless Handheld/Stick Vacuum.  It was lust at first site and love at first use.  I looked for awhile on the internet for the perfect stick vacuum, and decided on a Electrolux because:
~I wanted something for my hardwood and tile floors, not just carpet
~I wanted cordless
~I wanted lightweight
~I wanted sleek and pretty
~I wanted one that would hold its charge for long periods of time
~I wanted one with power!
~I wanted one easy to use for lil’ ones hands, so vacuuming could go on the chore board
~I wanted something with attachment options to get into the corners
~I wanted one that had a detachable hand held vacuum
The Electrolux had all of these things!

{It comes in ORANGE, too!! Love.}

Here was the problem.  
I am a hairstylist.  Before my cancer diagnosis, I did quite a few haircuts for family and friends.  Because of this, hair entered my house.  My little vacuum was perfect for this, BUT, after using for a year, long pieces of hair had gotten wrapped around the wheels, and they no longer rolled!
Most “normal”:) people would deal with that right away, but as we all know I am a procrastinator, so we have only been using the handheld part of the vacuum now for almost 6 months!  
I know, that is ridiculous.
I finally did it!  I cleaned the nasty hair off the wheels
1. I emptied and rinsed the lint basket
2. I spray and wiped all external parts
3.  I used the small screwdrivers to pop the wheels right off.  No unscrewing necessary!
4. I used tweezers to pull the hair off the wheels.
5. I let all dry 
and now
I am love again!!
It really was easy, took all of 10 minutes..
*if you use any of the links above to purchase anything from Amazon, I will receive a small commission, without any extra charge from you.  

I so appreciate it, if you are an Amazon shopper, 
when you use any of the links in this blog that take you to Amazon.  
I am so grateful!
**UPDATE  This vacuum would not be my first choice for lots of carpet areas that need heavy duty type vacuuming.  It is STICK vacuum, great for hard floors and to quickly touch up areas in between heavy duty vacuuming.
HOME/ Natural Products/ Organizing

Spring Cleaning & Declutter With Clean Mama

You all know I am a big fan of Clean Mama.  The look of her blog makes me very happy, she gives away many free printables, and she’s a midwest girl, like me!!  
She is doing a “Clean Sweep” spring clean + declutter.  
A month of spring cleaning and decluttering at your own pace
Last year, she hosted a Spring Zone Cleaning, which was awesome!  This year is going to be a bit more laid back, with just a “couple suggestions to work in at your leisure”–I like the sound of that.  I need laid back this year, and I also need some motivation to focus in on some specific things.  
I am REALLY looking forward to getting something done around here-won’t you join us?  
If interested, just visit Clean Mama to receive the assignment for each week during March. I am excited about this weeks assignment, my closet has been moaning at me for awhile now! I will let you know how I am coming on my progress, and would love to hear from you if you decide to join in.
When you go visit, let her know you came from New Nostalgia and that Amy says “Hi!”

Drinks/ HOME/ Natural Products/ Simplifying

Paper Towel Alternative

We have had a few spring like days here in Nebraska.  I love it!  It is making me think about spring cleaning!  I will be having radiation the next 6 weeks, so I will have to do mine in baby steps.  I am planning on working in a different “zone” of my home each week, 15 minutes a day.  Hopefully by the time I’m done with radiation my house will be de-cluttered and sparkling clean!!
I was inspired by this post at Clean Momma.  She is someone who knows sparkly clean!  I loved the idea of getting rid of paper products.  It kills me to spend money on paper towels, and we were going through them like crazy!  I do still keep one roll around for those nasty type spills, you know, like when you accidentally drop an egg?  Or when the raw chicken leaks onto the counter?  Yuck!
Both the jar and the cloths are from Target.  If I did it over again, I would get a more quality cloth, like these.  If you are an Amazon shopper, and want to buy the jar, here is a link.
 Clean Momma also got rid of paper napkins and cloths to wash her children’s faces.  She said she is saving at least $20.00 a month by not having to buy paper products!
Even though I am not a fan of bleach, I do occasionally bleach these white cloths.  I also started keeping the jar under my sink, as I wanted a bit more counter space.  If I had more room, I would for sure keep it on the counter, it is handy and I think the jar actually looks pretty!
Are you getting the itch to spring clean?
**I’m happy to be linking to these parties.
Tip Junkie handmade projects


HOME/ Homemaking/ Natural Products/ Organizing

Organizing And Storing My Spices

I found these little glass containers at a garage sale about a year ago for a couple of bucks.  I pictured them organized, labeled, full of different spices in beautiful earthy colors, all lined up along the top of my stove.  They HAVE been lined up along the top of my stove, but sitting empty, collecting dust, and looking sad.

The last 2 days were spent spring cleaning my kitchen.  IT IS SO CLEAN and I AM SO HAPPY!  My mother- in- law helped finish it up, for which I was so grateful– I’ll have before and after pics coming up soon.

You would not believe the difference in my floor tile grout…I think I forgot the grout is supposed to be cream because it been closer to mocha (can you tell I’m trying to make the color of dirt sound a bit more appealing??:))

Because I was spring cleaning, I knew I had to tackle my spices, and I’m very happy with how they turned out.  I put the spices that I use most often in the jars, the rest of the spices I have on a small, double-decker lazy susan in the cupboard right next to the stove.

I have said this before in another post, but if you can find a store that has bulk bins full of spices, (where you can help yourself to whatever amount you need, and are charged by weight), then, by all means, DO IT!

Most health food stores have this option. I can’t tell you what a difference using fresh spices has made in my cooking and baking.  It is very economical, and I can buy smaller amounts of spices that I do not use very often, so they won’t sit around forever, getting stale.

I don’t know about you, but having a clean kitchen and organized spices makes me wanna bake, so I’m off to search my recipes to see what I can make!

Amazon Links:
Lazy Susan
Empty Glass Spice Jars
My Favorite Label Maker


HOME/ Natural Products/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Spring Cleaning #2-Sunroom

Spring cleaning–its a love hate thing for me.  Don’t like doing it, but LOVE the results.  So far, I have finished my Living Room and my Sunroom.  The Living Room took me 4 hours (one hour of that was fixing my vacuum, grr) and the Sunroom took about 2 1/2.  Not a fast process.  2 rooms down, 10 to go!!

I bought the ebook, “Spring Cleaning For Normal People” at Simple Mom, for $7.00.  One tip in the book that has been super helpful is her suggestion of taking everything out of the room (not heavy furniture), and putting it in a central location before you start cleaning.  Not only does this get it all out of the way for deep cleaning, but as you put each piece back, you have a minute to think about whether it is something that is useful or beautiful, and if you want to keep it or not.   Thanks to this tip, I have eliminated a ton of stuff!  It also gives you a chance to focus in on each object to deep clean it, too, before putting it back in its place.

{great tip– pile stuff in a central location}
{eww.  nasty, dirty window sill}
{this window marker has been there since my husbands birthday…his birthday was in February!}

This is how I cleaned my sunroom: 
~piled everything in the center
~used broom to reach high for cobwebs in corners and windows
~used broom to brush off loose dirt on window sills
~filled bucket with water/vinegar (1/2 & 1/2)
~wiped down doors
~wiped down window sills/frames
~wiped down all walls
~wiped down floor trim
~used a Mr. Clean eraser to get rid of scuff marks on doors and trim
~cleaned windows inside
~cleaned windows outside
~got frustrated because I couldn’t reach 3 windows on the outside without a ladder
~marveled at how bright the room looked with clean windows
~put back decor that didn’t touch the floor, cleaning them and eliminating as I went
~moved objects that did touch the floor from the middle of the room so I could…
~mopped (twice…it was nasty)
~sat in the swing, sighed and smiled

{ahhh, much better!}

{what my kids like to do in the sunroom}
{my youngest walked in and said, “Wow, mom, you painted??”:}
This is the type of hook I used to hang the scooters.  2 per scooter.  The ones I used are rubber coated and white.  They have worked well.

This post is linked to:
Saturday Night Specials @ Funky Junk Interiors
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On The Porch
It’s So Very Creative @ It’s So Very Cheri
The DIY Showoff Parade @ The DIY Showoff
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple
Making The World Cuter Mondays @ Making The World Cuter 
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Bragfest Boardwalk @ Bobbypins Boardwalk
Works For Me Wednesdays @ We Are That Family
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Tackle It Tuesday @ 5 Minute Mom
FAMILY/ HOME/ Natural Products/ Organizing

Spring Cleaning #1

Well, I have given up the idea of someone else spring cleaning my home, (I offered on facebook to trade hair/nail/waxing services in exchange for a spring clean, and it was met with little interest-I guess no one else wants to spring clean, either!!:))  Kathy, my mother-in-law, encouraged me to do a little at a time and enjoy the good feeling it will bring as I get it done.  I like that advice and I’m going to take it!  For some reason when it comes to spring cleaning, I want it all done at once, which paralyzes me!!  I have a pretty clear calendar this week, so I will do a bit at a time and let you know how it goes!

I found this awesome ebook “Spring Cleaning for Normal People at Simple Mom, and bought it for $7.00.  It was worth every penny!  She has a way of breaking spring cleaning down into manageable steps, and gives great tips which makes it much less overwhelming.  Last week she had a spring cleaning series on her blog that was very inspirational, you can click here to check it out.

1st Step: Decluttering

From Tsh @ Simple Mom:
Does every item in your home make your family happy?  Does the item add to your home, your life, your family?  Of if you were truly honest, would you say it’s more of a burden?
If it’s a burden in any way, get rid of it.  It’s not worth the valuable real estate between your four walls.

“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”-19th century architect William Morris 

This is what I will do today. I will start this spring cleaning week by going from room to room and getting rid of anything that does not fit in the above quote. (and sneaking it to the Goodwill before my girls get home!!:))
I plan on using my mornings this week to spring clean, then in the afternoons, do something I enjoy (gardening, cooking, reading). If I set aside a full days to clean, I will get bored, burn out, and give up.  I can handle the mornings knowing I will get to do something more enjoyable in the afternoon!  Here goes..wish me luck!
*do you spring clean each year?  is motivation as hard for you as it is for me?  do you have a system?  got any tips for me??